Before any material can be used in construction, there’s a set of tests and inspections to carry out to ensure that it meets certain standards and specifications. Concrete, for example, goes through two different categories of quality testing tests to predict its future performance: Field Testing and Laboratory Testing. Laboratory tests should always be carried out in a certified and accredited concrete testing lab, such as G3 Quality’s laboratories or mobile laboratories for remote projects or job sites that are out of proximity.
By conducting tests such, compressive strength test, Alkali-Silica Reactivity (ASR), and dry shrinkage test, concrete testing labs can predict whether materials will meet structural integrity and performance standards.
Learn about the purpose of a concrete testing lab and the types of testing that occurs within them, before consulting G3 Quality with your inspection and testing needs.
What Is a Concrete Testing Lab?
A concrete testing lab is integral to assessing the quality and performance of concrete to be used in construction. A handful of testing methods are used within these labs to evaluate concrete properties and to ultimately ensure that materials meet quality standards and project specifications.
The Types of Concrete Testing
Concrete testing can be split into three categories, each serving a specific purpose in evaluating the material’s characteristics and forecasted performance.
By conducting assessments that measure or predict the future performance of the concrete and aggregate mixture, concrete testing labs can provide valuable insights that inform construction decisions.
Flexural or compressive strength is determined in a concrete testing lab to identify the final laid-bearing capacity and strength of concrete. It assesses the individual material properties of concrete so that engineers can confirm that it will withstand the design forces without failing.
Inspectors and testers conduct this test by taking cylindrical or beam shaped samples of hardened concrete and subjecting them to gradually increasing weight until they fracture. Then, the maximum load at which a sample fails is recorded and its ultimate strength is calculated. This is crucial data for project owners, as it ensures the safety and integrity of materials being used during construction.
A concrete testing lab can conduct a dry shrinkage test to examine its resilience to environmental effects and how much it will shrink over time. It provides an idea of how well the overall concrete section is going to cure, determines whether it will crack while drying, and gives you the necessary insights to adjust tolerances as you build.
Over time, concrete tends to shrink due to chemical reactions and moisture loss during the drying process. This can lead to internal strains and end up cracking the concrete. To prevent this outcome, engineers carry out dry shrinkage tests and measure the change in length of concrete specimens over time, typically at intervals of every seven days.
Soundness of the Aggregate
Another related test is the ASR test, which measures the potential length change of a concrete due to environmental elements commonly found in different soil conditions. It’s particularly important for airport projects, deep piles, and other projects where an expansive reaction can cause severe damage and pose potential life-threatening hazards.
“Most concrete testing laboratories can provide strength testing after the specified amount of cure time, but to better predict the overall performance of a concrete mix qualitative testing that takes into account the environmental conditions in which the concrete will be placed in service should be performed.”
- Zachary Wheeler, G3 Quality Director of Operations
By conducting these tests, engineers can glean insights into the long-term behavior and performance of their materials, allowing them to make adjustments as needed and ensure structural integrity.
Leverage G3’s Concrete Testing Lab for Your Next Project
A concrete testing lab is key for project owners who need to assess the quality, performance, and structural integrity of their materials before building begins. Here at G3 Quality, we’ve supported countless large-scale projects around California and can bring a new level of convenience to materials testing with our Mobile Testing Labs. Visit our website for more information on our inspection and testing services.
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